Virtual Activities for At-Home Experiences Last Updated: October 2021

Connecticut attractions, museums and entertainment venues have temporarily closed in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. But that doesn’t mean you can’t visit—virtually.

Here are a few popular attractions across Connecticut that have created special online experiences or projects to entertain, teach and engage you while you stay safe at home.

Due to the rapidly evolving situation, we encourage you to check back frequently for updates and to verify offering details with individual properties.  

NOTE: This is not a complete list of all available offerings.

Animals

  • The Children’s Museum in West Hartford has animal and nature programs that are 45-minutes of live virtual demonstrations. Choose one of the 17 different programs.
  • Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport is running a live "zoo cam" of their Red Pandas and Spider monkeys. They are also offering Distance Learning Programming for students to do while at home. Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo also just launched an interactive campaign called "Do You Have a Zoo at Your House?" which encourages children to write letters to the animals and zookeepers and send drawings and photos of how they've turned their house into a zoo.
  • Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center is running a Facebook Live series featuring various animals on Tue., Wed., and Thu. at 10 a.m.
  • Environmental Learning Centers of Connecticut in Bristol offers live videos of their farm animals on their Facebook page.
  • Horizon Wings Raptor Rehabilitation and Education Center in Ashford, which specializes in raptors and large corvids (such as crows and ravens), is offering free live educational videos with resident birds on their Facebook page.
  • Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk is bringing the marine life right to you with virtual events, videos, and interactive social-media experiences to keep you up-to-date on Aquarium happenings.
  • Meigs Point Nature Center in Madison is offering a fun virtual segment in which Ranger Russ will go live each day on Facebook to show off different animals at the center.
  • Mystic Aquarium in Mystic has a great list of virtual experiences including a Live Penguin Feed that brings the beloved penguins right to your computer screen, as well as a Facebook watch series "Aquarium Rehab" that goes behind the scenes with the aquarium's animal care professionals.
  • Stamford Museum & Nature Center in Stamford has daily Facebook Live classes featuring live farm and exotic animals, as well as hikes, field studies, and other programs. To get a closer look at the museum itself, take the virtual tours of the museum and nature center’s extensive grounds including the farmhouse, great room, and terrace.

Art Museums

  • Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield is hosting virtual events for adults and children, including Virtual Poetry and Virtual Family Tours.
  • Artspace in New Haven flatfile exhibitions allow the visitor to experience a collection of 2-D works by local and regional artists.
  • Bruce Museum in Greenwich goes digital of their latest exhibitions and family activities.
  • The Connecticut Art Trail’s members have virtual experiences you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home. Check them out.
  • Ely Center of Contemporary Art in New Haven now has on Wednesday at 4 p.m. artists' Studio Tours on their Instagram and Facebook pages.
  • Fairfield Museum and History Center in Fairfield is offering a variety of online content including virtual tours and weekly art challenges.
  • Fairfield University Art Museum in Fairfield is offering a Watch, Listen & Learn section on their website which includes online lectures, audio guides, and family and children’s activities.
  • Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme is providing online exhibitions and collections and learning resources for teachers and students. Additionally, those who wish to be inspired by stunning nature photos can follow along on social media to find posts with beautiful images, exhibitions, fun facts, and behind-the-scenes videos. 
  • The Glass House in New Canaan has a deep selection of content to engage with online including a virtual look at the amazing structure through 360 moving pictures that feature panoramic views of The Glass House, a virtual look at the Pavillion in the Pond, a virtual look at the sculpture gallery, virtual look at the Monument to Lincoln Kirstein as well as videos about Philip Johnson's architecture and influence on other designers.
  • Kehler Liddel Gallery in New Haven has multiply exhibits that you can view virtually.
  • Lyme Art Association in Old Lyme has a virtual walk-through of their museum that allows you to see some of the artwork featured there.
  • Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury has set up The MATT @ Home, a dedicated page on the museum's website with content and activities which include online exhibitions as well as educational worksheets and coloring pages for families. The museum is collecting and documenting how COVID-19 has affected our local community. By preserving local responses and the impact, this will help with future researchers understand the local impact of these trying times. Click here to participate.
  • Palestine Museum U.S. in Woodbridge is bringing the museum right to your home with a virtual tour of the museum on YouTube that lasts about 10 minutes.
  • Slater Memorial Museum in Norwich is giving the opportunity to virtually tour through the museum's gorgeous interior, including art and history collections.
  • Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford is helping people keep up with the museum’s art. Simply follow the museum’s Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and see daily photos and information about past and present exhibits.
  • William Benton Museum of Art in Storrs offers a variety of online exhibitions.
  • Yale Center for British Art in New Haven is offering virtual programs called at home: Artists in Conversation.
  • Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven is connecting you through Instagram and online exhibitions and Soundcloud.

Family Experiences

  • Ballard Institute & Museum of Puppetry in Storrs is offering virtual puppet-making workshops, which are perfect for young kids.
  • Children’s Museum of Southeastern Connecticut in Niantic offers children's activities, recipes, and projects on their Facebook page including Miss Donna's Woodland Adventures: Miss Donna lives in a log cabin in the woods.
  • Connecticut Science Center in Hartford is posting engaging activities as well as fun science experiences and exhibit tours on Wednesday at noon during their Lunch Bunch.
  • Cuatro Puntos offering Bones n' Dolls: an animated concert for children. A 20-minute concert for children combines animated characters with real musicians. Join Ms. Elinor's music class as they adventure to the fair, through a graveyard, and across the world to explore different types of music for string instruments.
  • Danbury Public Library offers Seuss on the Loose on Mondays at 2 p.m., celebrate all things Dr. Seuss.
  • Get your planetarium fix with Glastonbury Planetarium's weekly broadcasts exploring the stars and planets on their Facebook page.
  • Guilford Free Library offers virtual programs on their Facebook page including Children's: Paws & Read, children get to read with a therapy dog.
  • Hamden Hall Country Day School in Hamden is offering educational opportunities that include sing-alongs, read alongs while making meaningful connections, fun at-home activities, gardening activities, storytime and more.
  • Imagine Nation in Bristol has created an At Home community via Facebook, where members are able to participate in playful learning activities while staying home simply by following the Facebook page.
  • Kidivity.com has a variety of virtual at-home family-friendly activities.
  • KidsPlay Children’s Museum in Torrington is providing an online Playful Learning Toolkit featuring interactive play activities.
  • Lake Compounce in Bristol is making sure kids are having fun at home with their online Activity Book.
  • Lyman Allyn Art Museum in New London has a variety of family-fun art activities posted on their website.
  • MyConnecticutKids.com, Statewide is offering children's activities through its Facebook page. Activities include live Q&A sessions, coloring images to print, and object collecting. Additionally, it is providing online educational resources for kids at home via its website.
  • Mystified Escape Rooms in Mystic is offering a Family Frolic Special CAR EDITION Scavenger Hunt around downtown Mystic. They can be completed from the car, but also offers opportunities to visit local trails and open spaces. Purchase online and print at home.
  • New England Carousel Museum in Bristol created an online video tour of the museum.
  • Pequot Library in Southport offers activities for both children and adults on their Facebook page. Activities include storytime, book clubs, special concerts, and more.
  • The PEZ Visitor Center in Orange is offering an incredible 3-D virtual visit to see the center's interior and get up close to exhibits. Simply click around and you'll feel like you're really there!
  • Quassy Amusement & Waterpark in Middlebury is providing stay-at-home projects for kids, including a crossword puzzle, math problems, a worksheet on how to design an amusement ride, a Quassy coloring book, and more.
  • Scoville Library in Salisbury offers on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. Zoom Storytime with Miss Moley. Learn and have fun through stories, interactive songs, and rhymes. sing, talk, read!
  • Stonington Free Library in Stonington is streaming a storytime on Mondays.
  • Westport Country Playhouse offers a Story Hour with Jenny, interactive readings of social justice-themed picture books for kids in grades K–3. These books center around the four pillars of our education department, empathy, collaboration, activism, and literacy, and are all written and illustrated by BIPOC artists.
  • White Memorial Conservation Center in Litchfield is providing live streaming nature programs on their Facebook page.
  • Hamden's Whitney Workshop at Eli Whitney Museum is having weekly Creative Challenges. Click on their Facebook page for each week's challenge.
  • Woodcock Nature Center in Wilton is offering self-led nature activities and educational videos.
  • Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History in New Haven offers Peabody@Home with digital resources, educational tools, and online curiosities of the museum's collections.
  • Yellow Farmhouse Educational Center in Stonington offers cooking classes for all ages on their Facebook page.
  • Printable coloring pages are available featuring of some of Connecticut's most famous attractions.

Film, Theater & Entertainment

  • A Contemporary Theatre of Connecticut (ACT) in Ridgefield live streams storytime for children and hosts a Happy Hour for adults.
  • Avon Theatre in Stamford offers online movie rentals for $12. Click here to see what's showing.
  • Bradley Playhouse in Putnam is hosting live Variety Shows on their Facebook page.
  • Registration is now open for CT Dance Now! A series of 10 virtual dance events hosted by Connecticut Dance Alliance in partnership with Connecticut University and Collegiate dance departments. Held on Mondays from 6 p.m.-7 p.m. via Zoom. Events will consist of performances, discussions, and classes offered by dance professionals, artists, and educators representing dance across the state.
  • Eastern CT Symphony Orchestra is posting videos on YouTube of educational videos provided by ECSO musicians. These videos will walk through the personal background of our musicians, musical concepts demonstrated by performed and recorded excerpts, and background about orchestral composers. The content is aimed at children in grades 3 through 5 and may be used by all, free of charge.
  • Elm Shakespeare Company based out of New Haven is offering a variety of engaging content including home learning activities, streamed stage performances, and a list of suggested reading.
  • Fairfield Theater Company is curating a new list of live stream concerts to view each week.
  • Goodspeed Musicals in East Haddam has created a Spotify playlist of soothing and inspirational musical theatre songs that you can listen to for extra comfort in your day. You can also be entertained at home with Goodspeed From Home activities, including live on Instagram on Monday evenings at 5 p.m., "I'll Drink to That," for witty conversation and musical musings.
  • Hartford Stage in Hartford is offering Scene and Heard: LIVE, where Melia Bensussen celebrates theater arts with various special guests.
  • Hartford Symphony Orchestra is offering HSO To Go, an online home for performances, music education, and other great digital content featuring HSO musicians. Listen to an archival recording of the HSO, learn from a master teacher, and connect with HSO musicians all from the comfort of your own home. The Hartford Symphony Orchestra and The Bushnell collaborated on a video thanking Connecticut-based essential workers for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to see this wonderful video.
  • Mohegan Sun in Uncasville offers the opportunity to binge-watch its award-winning digital TV series "Back of House" where you can view an exciting plethora of happenings from cake showdowns to celebrity red carpet rollouts. 
  • New Haven Symphony Orchestra is providing NHSO at Home: Stream the Symphony. Enjoy watch parties, concerts, home recitals, and more.
  • No Boundaries Youth Theater has been posting daily theater activities for children on its Facebook page, including a daily photo challenge and videos of Shakespeare monologues.
  • Norfolk Chamber Music Festival—Yale Museum School of Music in New Haven is sharing a virtual series of postings featuring performances from the Music Shed to enjoy at home.
  • Palace Theater in Waterbury is offering virtual tours of the historic theater.
  • Pantochino Productions based out of Milford has an online series for family audiences, Let's Learn Stuff on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2 p.m. on their Facebook page. The show is a hodge-podge of unusual knowledge, arts and crafts, stories, and more.
  • Sea Tea Comedy Theater in Hartford is posting live content regularly on its Facebook page.
  • Shubert Theater in New Haven is staying connected with you by offering for kids of all ages, activities to create art at home with a backstage tour, Pinkalicious storytime, a playwriting challenge, and learn how to make puppets and a puppet theater.
  • TheaterWorks of Hartford is streaming on demand their 2021 productions, so kick back and enjoy.
  • United States Coast Guard Band in New London is offering a Concert Hall on YouTube featuring a variety of content including performance footage, educational resources and tutorials, and other exciting projects.

Fitness & Mindfulness

  • Aiping Tai Chi Center in Orange and Westport launched a free live streaming channel offering free Tai Chi and Health Qigong classes. All classes are available to watch as videos after the stream.
  • Breathing Room Yoga Center in New Haven is offering online classes via Zoom which include Mixed Level Vinyasa, Dynamic Hatha Flow, Candlelit Yoga, and more. Preregistration is required.
  • Copper Beech Institute in West Hartford is offering a new virtual mindfulness program each day including guided meditations, live online meditation, live workplace webinar, live mindful movement, and a podcast.
  • FitStyle by Shana in New Haven has classes via Zoom, including Zumba, walking, as well as FitStyle Q&A's on how to work from home and stay fit.
  • Fresh Yoga in New Haven offers online classes via Zoom including Vinyasa, Hatha Yoga, Prenatal Yoga, Forrest Yoga, Fresh Flow, Yin Yoga, Yoga Nidra, Chair Yoga, Core Connection. Prerecorded links are sent so that you can enjoy the class at whatever time works best for you.
  • Hartford Sweat in Hartford is streaming free classes on Instagram/Facebook Live or via Zoom. Classes include Barre, Yoga, Zumba, and more. Beginning April 1st, you can even download their app for more direct streaming classes.
  • JoyRide Cycling + Fitness in New Haven is hosting virtual high-intensity interval training spin rides. All fitness levels are welcome and preregistration is required.
  • New England Ballet Company in Hartford is offering a virtual workout series for dancers.
  • Personal Euphoria in Wethersfield is offering virtual Pilates, yoga, strength, and interval training, providing safe, fun classes to help you keep moving, and we post a story every weekday to encourage you to hold a plank.
  • Playhouse on Park in West Hartford, choreographer Darlene Ponist Zoller is offering daily dance classes and workouts on her Facebook page.
  • VidFitness of New Haven is providing complimentary access to a platform for shared fitness videos. You can use a stationary bike, indoor smart trainer, elliptical, etc. to exercise virtually against cycling videos from around the world.

History

  • Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library in New Haven has available digital exhibitions from the library's collections.
  • Connecticut Historical Society in Hartford has online exhibitions and digital programming. Through its Facebook page, the museum is offering Facebook Live tours, like the CT Quilts Tour. You can also become a part of the historical documentation of this Covid-19 pandemic by digitally contributing your own story of how it has impacted you. Learn more about participating here.
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe in Hartford has a wealth of information on their website and a peek at many parts of the exhibit. Connect with the center's social media channels, which share live special events that you can enjoy at home.
  • Henry Whitfield State Museum in Guilford is providing the opportunity to take a virtual tour of Connecticut's oldest house.
  • Mark Twain Museum in Hartford has a virtual tour where you can explore the twenty-five-room Victorian mansion where Mark Twain lived and wrote – right from your own home.
  • The Mill Museum - Windham Textile and History Museum in Willimantic offers a virtual experience of their current exhibit and a History at Home series.
  • Mystic Seaport in Mystic has created a one-stop source for all existing videos, photographs, and blog posts for the museum. You can even watch a video walk-through of the historic boat storage area, normally closed to the public.
  • New England Air Museum in Windsor is offering virtual tours through panoramic photos of the restoration projects and the museum interior. 
  • Noah Webster House & West Hartford History Society presents on Wednesdays at noon on their Facebook page, West Hartford's fascinating and often hidden history stories.
  • Old New-Gate Prison & Copper Mine in East Granby is providing the opportunity to take a virtual tour of the first chartered copper mine in North America.
  • See Roseland Cottage in Woodstock from home. Virtually "visit" this Gothic Revival gem. Stroll through the buildings and landscapes and see places not usually open to the public.
  • Seaside Shadows Haunted History Tours are doing Spooky Story Sundays live on their Facebook page, telling local lore and spine-tingling tales of history and mystery.  And join in over the cauldron for a weekly virtual segment on all things magic on Witchy Wednesdays; embark on a journey with pagan and druid ancestors, nature-based foremothers, and forefathers to current practices today.  On Saturdays at 4 p.m. on Facebook Live for Cemetery Saturdays. Learn of tales of historic Connecticut residents of note and legendary figures.
  • Wadsworth Mansion in Middletown is hosting virtual history tours of the Wadsworth Mansion every Wednesday from 2 to 3 p.m. on Facebook.
  • Westport Museum for History and Culture’s Tuesday Treasures is a program that showcases objects from their collection not normally on public view. See and hear the stories behind some of the most unique, mysterious and impactful artifacts in our community on their Facebook page.
  • Wilton Historical Society is offering regular digital fun and interesting historical stories, as well as digital tours of exhibits and a behind-the-scenes look at the museum's collection through YouTube and Facebook page.
  • Yale University in New Haven is offering a virtual tour of the historic university, including its campus, athletics, and residential life.

Other

  • Art Plus Studio in New Haven is offering online art classes for a small fee.
  • Bartlett Arboretum in Stamford is offering gardening tips and other helpful topics that you can access through their Facebook page.
  • Between Two Rocks is a Podcast about New Haven and comedy.
  • Café Aura in Manchester owned by Geno Auriemma, UConn’s girl's basketball coach, and while he can't greet you in person at this time, he has created a series of Café Aura at Home videos to show you how he creates some of his favorite recipes.
  • Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County is a membership service nonprofit with more than 550+ members; from artists, galleries and museums, to historical societies, nature centers, across 15 towns of coastal Fairfield County. FCBuzz-Events is a great source for discovering current arts and culture activities in the area. See an online version of the E-Buzz here.
  • Full Pours is a Connecticut Beer and Brewing podcast.
  • Grating the Nutmeg is a Connecticut history podcast from the State Historian and Connecticut Explored.
  • Hartford Public Library offers virtual programming including Monday Art Inside (arts and crafts to try at home), Tuesdays Read from the Hart with local authors, Wellness Wednesdays, Thursday Home Hacks (cooking, gardening, and more), Friday Jams with local performers.
  • Ridgefield Streams provides virtual events from the arts and cultural organizations from the town of Ridgefield.
  • Stafford Speedway in Stafford is offering the opportunity to re-watch the iRacing Stafford Speedway 100. Stay tuned for more virtual races and events.

Additional Resource

For even more options, here is Hartford Courant's Roundup of Virtual Art Museum Tours:

If you are the manager of an attraction that you think should be on this list, please contact the Connecticut Office of Tourism.